R4GH is proud to introduce Mr. Haules Robbins Zaniku who was awarded the R4GH small research grant in 2021 for his project entitled:

Prevalence and associated risk factors of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in Neno district- a Malawian rural setting.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a slowly progressive lung disease characterized by deterioration of lung function, quality of life and periods of acute exacerbation. COPD is estimated to affect 210 million people worldwide, 90% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. The increasing burden of COPD in Africa can be attributed to factors such as tobacco smoking, environmental pollution, and exposure to combustion products of biomass fuels (from coal, firewood and agricultural residue), occupational dusts, tuberculosis, and long-term sequelae of childhood respiratory infections.

However, there is limited literature on the prevalence of COPD in rural areas of Sub-saharan africa including Malawi. The on-going research project seeks to explore prevalence of COPD by conducting spirometry test to adults ≥ 40 years of age. Furthermore, the study seeks to understand the associated risk factors for COPD among this population. This is accomplished through face-to-face interview using a validated IMPALA questionnaire that contains questions on socio-demographic characteristics, respiratory symptoms, active TB screening questions, exposure to biomass and wood smoke, history of TB, history of cigarette smoking, and asthma history.